Gorillas In The Roses / reflection

IMG_6871-0
GITR Zine Cover (for our zine of zine covers)

After the chaotic atmosphere, large scale and spatial freedom in first term, Gorillas in the Roses, led by James Green, seemed like a real challenge because of its contained nature. With my collaging experiments from last year to back me up, I’ve been thinking it might be interesting to learn about the true nature and history of collaging, how it fits in the greater scale of the art world. I couldn’t help but notice how different the two options were. I had to once more change my perspective on processes and materials, and it was the most exciting idea to reflect upon in my work. I’d been thinking about Nature – the general nature of things, ‘nature’ as in our environment, the nature of the world we live in, human nature, the nature of my thoughts and emotions.

Being confined to my desk space felt really strange at first but the lectures we were having soon took my mind off it. James introduced us not only to collage art and artists, but also to some of the most incredible comic book artists, examples of book art, shows and animations. The calmness and quiet of the collaging process (finding the right elements from newspapers/books/magazines, cutting them out, arranging them, and sticking them down) was what helped enforce the idea of a meditative process of visual reflection, of putting things in order and understanding them through this different perspective. While I was trying to put some specific meaning in every element of my collages I realized that what I was coming up with were perfect reflections of moods and mind states, strange combinations, that don’t really make much sense, but secretly, hold bits of a life story. Of mind states. Of Nature…

One thing I found incredibly reassuring, and liberating in a way, was that there were no restrictions, no limits, and no boundaries. We were just told to produce a body of work, to concentrate on something, and to do some collaging. That meant a great deal of experimenting and a lot of collages made on a purely random basis. And even still I kept finding meanings in the outcomes. At the start of the module James told us to each get a sketchbook for all our collages, but after the Subject projects, and the feedback from both this year and last, I was determined to create a finished outcome in book form, made from scratch, rather than just bought and filled. That is how ‘M!nd States’ and ‘Human Nature, Cosmic Nature’ initially formed as themes and ideas, and, as the module went on, as real finished pieces. But my work was also influenced by not only the artists I was encouraged to research but also my peers. Even though we were working alone and each of us in our own ways, we managed to produce more artwork than any of us thought, all while comfortably collaging in a room, chatting and listening to our favourite music. I couldn’t appreciate it more.

IMG_6869
Life and The Universe, as I see them in collage. (part of my “human nature, cosmic nature” book)
Advertisements

artist research / collage art

Jess Collins

The Virtue of Incertitude Perplexing the Vice of Definition. Jess Collins. Collage.
O! Tricky Cad & Other Jessoterica

Lawrence Jordan

Lawrence Jordan’s collage, “The Huntsman’s Dream” ; source: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/umbrella-vs-sewing-machine/Content?oid=3125597
A Heavenly Time, Lawrence Jordan, original paper collage, 34 “x 28.5”, 2012
Ignus Electrici, Lawrence Jordan, mixed media diorama,15.5″ x 11″ x 4.5″, 1964; source: https://www.artpractical.com/event/10405-prodigies-of-physical-phenomena/
“Lawrence Jordan uses experimental animation to explore the subconscious. “

 

Robert Rauchenberg

Autobiography, 1968. ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG American (b. 1925). Offset lithograph on paper Gift of the Arch H. and Stella Rowan Foundation in Honor of Bob Green. source: http://www.theoldjailartcenter.org/RobertRauschenberg/

Autobiography, 1968. ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG American (b. 1925). Offset lithograph on paper Gift of the Arch H. and Stella Rowan Foundation in Honor of Bob Green. source: http://www.theoldjailartcenter.org/RobertRauschenberg/
source: http://galleryhip.com/robert-rauschenberg-artwork.html
source: http://galleryhip.com/robert-rauschenberg-artwork.html
source: http://pictify.com/373532/robert-rauschenberg-minutiae-1954
source: http://imgkid.com/rauschenberg-collage.shtml

Joe Orton & Kenneth Halliwell

the Islington flat richly decorated by Kenneth Halliwell
from Malicious damage (Joe Orton & Kenneth Halliwell
from Malicious Damage
from Malicious Damage

 

Picasso (& his works on paper)

GorillasInTheRoses: A Zine of Zine Covers

IMG_6871-0

At our last collaging session with James, we set ourselves a collaging brief – to create a cover for the Gorillas In The Roses zine of covers, which James suggested earlier this term, and to which we excitedly agreed. After giving it about two hours of intense work, we all came up with our different versions of what Gorillas In The Roses is, how we see it, what it means to us as a module or mmaybe literally, etc.

On the left: my GITR cover

We were, for the first time, working under a set brief. I’m not going to lie, I found it a bit stressful, but then again, there’s no inspiration like the deadline. Haha! We had to consider the size – the print was going to be size A5, so be careful about details too small. The other thing we had to be wary of was the fact it was going to be printed in black and white and any bright colour would be lost. Having all that in mind we all ended up handing in with very interesting outcomes. Everyone signed their names on a page that James made himself and then we were ready to go.

***

This week after the end of our assessment session, we each got a copu of the finished zine. I love how it turned out, as simple and strange as it is, it perfectly reflected Gorillas In The Roses and it was a zine, a little publication, that I contributed my collage artwork to, along with all my friends – you can see why I was so happy to have a copy  :)

IMG_6872-0IMG_6874-0

Above: GITR Zine Cover | Credit Page by J Green
Below: Inside Cover | Page 1 Cover

IMG_6873-0

I think it is fairly easy to notice, eve just from the first two images (and the cover), that the zine is filled with various aproaches to collaging. From minimalistic to elaborately detailed, from hand drawn to photographic, literal to abstract… all bearing our personal artistic touch and views and ideas.

This zine was a success, there should definitely be more of those, on all sorts of subjects, that’d be quite interesting…

Book of Nature

This book, combines in itself the idea of nature, wild and raw and beautiful as it is, with human nature, which ultimately leads to the questions of our existence and the cosmos itself.

This book is a concertina (12 x 12 cm) with several different fold-outs and two pop-ups, as well as a back spread.

IMG_6856

IMG_6857

IMG_6858

IMG_6859

IMG_6860

IMG_6861

IMG_6862

IMG_6863

IMG_6864

IMG_6867

IMG_6866IMG_6868

IMG_6869
~      c   o   s   m   o   s    ~ (back spread, 12 x 48 cm)

This book goes hand to hand with M!nd States.
Note: there are more pages in the book itself which I haven’t included in this post.

M!nd States

As you sit down and you look at the collection of old magazines, comic book issues, and all kinds of scraps and papers and pictures, all about to be cut up, rearranged and stuck together on a page in a sketchbook or a random sheet of paper, you can’t help but notice a little sadness amidst your excitement and delight – sadness about the ‘destruction’ of other people’s works because of a specific detail which we use for our own imagery. This ultimately makes you think about the kind of world we live in, the nature of humanity and the beauty of balance – to create you need first destroy – like the phoenix, which dies in fire and is reborn from the ashes. Collaging becomes this act of creation via cutting, tearing and trimming.

At the same time it gives life to all the scraps and the bits and the little papers that we come across each day – the receipts, the tickets, the leaflets, the wrappers… they are given purpose when they have none and they are made interesting when they usually wouldn’t be. What is by some considered trash becomes a gold mine for those who know what to look for.

Collaging in itself can be a deeply personal experience, which opens you up to how your own mind works – how you see things and how they subconsciously rearrange themselves inside your head; the outcomes become the reflections of ideas, thoughts and mind states. Collages are weird in nature; they are nonsensical, shocking and/or simply strange but that gives you the freedom to see just how far you can go before you get completely lost and confused and disgusted by your own artwork.

The following pages of this book are filled with the outcomes of my own exploration of that uncharted mind space – trying to make some sense out of things that at a first glance make none.

IMG_6845-0
happy new year
IMG_6846
parallel progression
IMG_6848
dreaming
IMG_6849
daydreaming
IMG_6850
‘how do you feel?’
IMG_6851
(after) g l o w
IMG_6852
me (you)
IMG_6853
jkcddda\\:”{w6uo/4 v3q50-]r oj”dX,XC.ZS BL!!!!!!!!!!!! (frustration), Collaging + Painting Performance
IMG_6854
s . o . s
IMG_6855
~   everything   ~

~~~—– 10 / 25 artworks from the book (all images in M!nd States were selected out of a larger body of work done in the last 5 weeks  —–~~~